I don’t care what the USDA says…chocolate is an important food group! However, it is my duty to tell you that cocoa powder recently tested moderately high in FODMAPs at the Monash University lab, a fact the faculty shared with dietitian attendees at their May, 2013 seminar. It contains both fructans and galactans in almost equal amounts. If there was ever a place to insert a frowny face in a blog post, this would be it :(
What is cocoa powder, and how is it different from chocolate, anyway? I got lots of interesting information about chocolate and cocoa from the National Confectioner's Association Chocolate Council at http://www.thestoryofchocolate.com. Cocoa powder is ground cocoa solids which have been removed from chocolate liquor (chocolate liquor is ground cocoa beans, a combination of cocoa solids and cocoa butter--think natural peanut butter, with peanut solids rather easily separated from the peanut oil). Wickedgoodies.net has a really "sweet" illustration of how chocolate is made that will help visual learners such as myself understand all these terms.
There is still hope for small portions of certain chocolates! Solid chocolate is made from cocoa liquor (which includes both cocoa solids and cocoa butter), sugar, and sometimes milk. It can be difficult to interpret the ingredients named on the label of a chocolate product, because when you see 70% cocao on a chocolate label, that 70% includes chocolate liquor, cocoa solids and cocoa butter, and many chocolate bars don't tell you what the % chocolate is. But you can figure that the less fiber per serving the lower the % cocoa solids.
So...we're loking for the lowest % cacao, the lowest number of grams of fiber, yet not a milk chocolate, because that would add lactose, another FODMAP. Below are just a few candidate. Please go to the store right now and read some labels. Send ideas fast!
- Newman's Own Organics Orange Dark Chocolate (1 g fiber/ounce)
- Dagoba Organic Chocolate Semisweet for Baking (2 g fiber/ounce)
- Ghirardelli Mini Chocolate Chips (2 g fiber/ounce)
For an illustration of the effect more cocoa solids and a bigger portion size can have, a 3 ounce/90 gram, 70% chocolate bar has 9 grams of fiber in it. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids at all, so if you can find one without lactose or milk in it, it shouldn't have any FODMAPs at all, but I'm not sure there is such a thing.
Surprisingly, chocolate itself hasn’t yet been analyzed for FODMAPs. Maybe they don’t want to know…who can blame them?